Florida Cracker Cattle

C Fi 9833

Cracker cattle were first brought to Florida by the Conquistadors in the 16th century. Both male and female cracker cattle have horns (which can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the breed). They are hardy animals that can bear high heat and humidity and live in swampy land. In other words, they’re perfect for Florida. Their relative docility makes them a popular choice for cattle-roping competitions and 4-H activities.

Folklore has it that the term “cracker” came from the crack of the whip of cattle drovers. (The sound of these whips is how Florida’s Cracker Cowboys got their name.) It is just as likely, though, that the term came over from Europe with the original cattle. During the Elizabethan era, the word “cracker” referred to a braggart or a blowhard. Whatever the derivation, the name has stuck.

Florida Cracker Cattle was painted by [to come].


Josie head

Jessica Dirkes

Jessica (aka Josie) found art class in high school provided one of the only passing grades easily achieved.

Painting community theater sets became a passion throughout high school moving into theater arts for the first year of college. Academics in college again were not her best sport so she dropped out. The Parents were not pleased. Wisely she convinced The Parents that Ringling School of Art & Design was the School of Higher Learning best suited for a career driven endeavor. This Michigander became a Floridian in 1974 .

In 1977 Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey opened a scenic studio east Sarasota. Floats we built were test driven in the pasture across from the shop. Florida was Cattle everywhere. Florida had Celery Fields nearby this shop. Florida life was "rural" and beautiful. Florida landscapes are an acquired appreciation that can soothe the spirit. Hot, humid, solid, flowing and undeveloped vastness is The Florida I love.

I painted The Florida Cracker Cattle Drive and The Celery Fields. Two Florida experiences it seems native Floridians loved and lost to development.

Written By

Nanette Crist

Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.